Learn the Signs. Act Early.

WICShopper CDC Learn The Signs, Act Early

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Learn the Signs. Act Early. program encourages parents and other care providers to learn the signs of healthy development, track their young child’s developmental milestones, and act early if there is ever a developmental concern.”

Track your child’s milestones with CDC’s FREE and easy-to-use Milestones Tracker mobile app.  Get tips from CDC for encouraging your child’s development and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing.

VIDEO – Milestones Matter for Families

In this video, parents of young children share their personal experience using CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” tools and resources to learn about child development, recognize the milestones their child should be reaching, and guide them about what to do if they ever become concerned.

Milestones Matter for Families!

Versión en Español

¡Los indicadores son clave para las familias!

 

If You’re Concerned 

As a parent, you know your child best. If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves talk to your child’s doctor and share your concerns. Don’t wait. Acting early can make a real difference! Visit the Learn the Signs. Act Early. Families page for more resources and next steps.

Positive Parenting Tips

WICShopper CDC Parenting Tips

As a parent you give your children a good start in life—you nurture, protect and guide them. Parenting is a process that prepares your child for independence. As your child grows and develops, there are many things you can do to help your child. These links will help you learn more about your child’s development, positive parenting, safety, and health at each stage of your child’s life.  Tap on the age of your child to see the milestones!

For more great parenting advice and tips, visit the CDC “Learn the Signs, Act Early” website here.

Infant (0-1 Years)

Toddler (1-2 Years)

Toddler (2-3 Years)

Preschoolers (3-5 Years)

Infant (0 – 1 Year of Age)

Development Milestones

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye-bye” are called developmental milestones. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (like crawling, walking, or jumping).

In the first year, babies learn to focus their vision, reach out, explore, and learn about the things that are around them. Cognitive, or brain development means the learning process of memory, language, thinking, and reasoning. Learning language is more than making sounds (“babble”),or saying “ma-ma” and “da-da”. Listening, understanding, and knowing the names of people and things are all a part of language development. During this stage, babies also are developing bonds of love and trust with their parents and others as part of social and emotional development. The way parents cuddle, hold, and play with their baby will set the basis for how they will interact with them and others.

Positive Parenting Tips

Following are some things you, as a parent, can do to help your baby during this time:
  • Talk to your baby. She will find your voice calming.
  • Answer when your baby makes sounds by repeating the sounds and adding words. This will help him learn to use language.
  • Read to your baby. This will help her develop and understand language and sounds.
  • Sing to your baby and play music. This will help your baby develop a love for music and will help his brain development.
  • Praise your baby and give her lots of loving attention.
  • Spend time cuddling and holding your baby. This will help him feel cared for and secure.
  • Play with your baby when she’s alert and relaxed. Watch your baby closely for signs of being tired or fussy so that she can take a break from playing.
  • Distract your baby with toys and move him to safe areas when he starts moving and touching things that he shouldn’t touch.
  • Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Parenting can be hard work! It is easier to enjoy your new baby and be a positive, loving parent when you are feeling good yourself.

For more information, please visit CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/index.html

Toddlers (1-2 Years of Age)

Development Milestones

During the second year, toddlers are moving around more, and are aware of themselves and their surroundings. Their desire to explore new objects and people also is increasing. During this stage, toddlers will show greater independence; begin to show defiant behavior; recognize themselves in pictures or a mirror; and imitate the behavior of others, especially adults and older children. Toddlers also should be able to recognize the names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions.

Positive Parenting Tips

Following are some of the things you, as a parent, can do to help your toddler during this time:
  • Parent or caregiver reading to toddler
  • Read to your toddler daily.
  • Ask her to find objects for you or name body parts and objects.
  • Play matching games with your toddler, like shape sorting and simple puzzles.
  • Encourage him to explore and try new things.
  • Help to develop your toddler’s language by talking with her and adding to words she starts. For example, if your toddler says “baba”, you can respond, “Yes, you are right―that is a bottle.”
  • Encourage your child’s growing independence by letting him help with dressing himself and feeding himself.
  • Respond to wanted behaviors more than you punish unwanted behaviors (use only very brief time outs). Always tell or show your child what she should do instead.
  • Encourage your toddler’s curiosity and ability to recognize common objects by taking field trips together to the park or going on a bus ride.

For more information, please visit CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/index.html

Toddlers (2 – 3 Years of Age)

Development Milestones

Because of children’s growing desire to be independent, this stage is often called the  “terrible twos.” However, this can be an exciting time for parents and toddlers. Toddlers will experience huge thinking, learning, social, and emotional changes that will help them to explore their new world, and make sense of it. During this stage, toddlers should be able to follow two- or three-step directions, sort objects by shape and color, imitate the actions of adults and playmates, and express a wide range of emotions.

Positive Parenting Tips

Following are some things you, as a parent, can do to help your toddler during this time:
  • Following are some of the things you, as a parent, can do to help your toddler during this time:
  • Set up a special time to read books with your toddler.
  • Encourage your child to take part in pretend play.
  • Play parade or follow the leader with your toddler.
  • Help your child to explore things around her by taking her on a walk or wagon ride.
  • Encourage your child to tell you his name and age.
  • Teach your child simple songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, or other cultural childhood rhymes.
  • Give your child attention and praise when she follows instructions and shows positive behavior and limit attention for defiant behavior like tantrums. Teach your child acceptable ways to show that she’s upset.

For more information, please visit CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/index.html

Preschoolers (3-5 Years of Age)

Development Milestones

As children grow into early childhood, their world will begin to open up. They will become more independent and begin to focus more on adults and children outside of the family. They will want to explore and ask about the things around them even more. Their interactions with family and those around them will help to shape their personality and their own ways of thinking and moving. During this stage, children should be able to ride a tricycle, use safety scissors, notice a difference between girls and boys, help to dress and undress themselves, play with other children, recall part of a story, and sing a song

Positive Parenting Tips

Following are some things you, as a parent, can do to help your preschooler during this time:
  • Continue to read to your child. Nurture her love for books by taking her to the library or bookstore.
  • Let your child help with simple chores.
  • Encourage your child to play with other children. This helps him to learn the value of sharing and friendship.
  • Be clear and consistent when disciplining your child. Explain and show the behavior that you expect from her. Whenever you tell her no, follow up with what he should be doing instead.
  • Help your child develop good language skills by speaking to him in complete sentences and using “grown up” words. Help him to use the correct words and phrases.
  • Help your child through the steps to solve problems when she is upset.
  • Give your child a limited number of simple choices (for example, deciding what to wear, when to play, and what to eat for snack).

For more information, please visit CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/index.html